In a Q&A with Amy Schumer for Friday’s issue of Lenny Letter, Lena Dunham took aim at Odell Beckham Jr. by claiming that he slighted her for her appearance (she wore a tuxedo) at this year’s Met Gala. “I was sitting next to Odell Beckham Jr., and it was so amazing because it was like he looked at me and he determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards,” she told Schumer. “The vibe was very much like, ‘Do I want to fuck it? Is it wearing a … yep, it’s wearing a tuxedo. I’m going to go back to my cell phone.’ It was like we were forced to be together, and he literally was scrolling Instagram rather than have to look at a woman in a bow tie. I was like, ‘This should be called the Metropolitan Museum of Getting Rejected by Athletes.’”
To be clear, the Met Gala is a tightly controlled event. Take a look at this year’s film The First Monday in May, which documents how Vogue and the Metropolitan Museum of Art put it all together. Conde Nast Artistic Director Anna Wintour personally vets and re-vets the guest list, and organizes and re-organizes the seating arrangements. You’re a sponsor and you get a certain allotment of table seats? Wintour and Vogue still have to approve who you’d like to invite, and usually the publication makes the first step and suggests who you should invite. So when Lena Dunham says, “It was like we were forced to be together,” it’s worth noting that’s true—they were quite literally forced to sit together, not only at the same table but in whatever arrangement at that table that they were in.
That said, being seated next to Lena Dunham does not mean one has a requirement to address Lena Dunham. Odell Beckham Jr. owed the actress/director nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. As far as we can tell, he didn’t even know her prior to this event. So why on God’s green earth, in the year of our lord 2016, would Beckham’s lack of acknowledgement be construed as some sort of anti-feminist ploy built on ideas surrounding objectification? Might it be Dunham’s own privilege?